Faiths Faces Kelowna: August 2006

Faiths Faces Kelowna

This is a personal experience exploration of the different churches, temples, mosques, etc. in Kelowna. Through this weekly experience, I hope to become more spiritually-oriented, while getting to experience different religions, and different slants on the Christian experience.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Kelowna Christian Reformed Church

Address: 239 Glenmore Road, Kelowna
Date & Service Attended: August 27 2006, 10:30AM
Pastor/Priest/Leader: Pastor John Gerrits

Sermon: The sermon centred on the personal peace God can give us, when he surrender ourselves to him. Pastor Gerrits used Luke 2:13-14, John 14:25-27, 20:19-23, which involve promises of peace, either from the angels, or Jesus himself. He reminded us that the Bible promises that this peace is not temporary or fragile.

He also used the recent youth missionary trip to California (a week-long camp for mentally challenged adults), as an example of where those youth had recieved some of the peace of God, by serving him.

Other parts of the service: The service spanned both contemporary and traditional music, using contemporary instruments. Overall, we sang ten songs/hymns, which seemed to be more than most of the services I've gone to recently.

They also had a very nice "children's message", where the young children (2-8?) come up to front of the church, and a very simple and straightforward message is given to them.

Of course, it's useful for us adults too. Again, the theme was that just as children can count on their "stuffies" to provide comfort during worrying or troubling times, their parents can lean on Jesus in the same way.

I liked this format. The message was solid for all age groups, and it's nice to see the children placed in "place of pride" in the church.

The offering was also going to M2/W2, a group helping prisoners. I personally felt good about this.

My feelings/thoughts: See ratings, below.

Other things:The youth group had come back from the aforementioned trip, and each person gave a verbal report of what it was like serving these mentally challenged people for a week. Among the most commong reports of growth were the understanding that each of these individuals are, in fact, very different people. Secondly, the growth of patience was widely noted amongst the youth leaders.

Finally, almost all said that they enjoyed an evening dance with these people the most, because they danced with abandon, and without worry of "how they would appear". This freed the youth to also be able to do the same. Most of their faces lit up when they recalled this aspect of this hard-working trip.

My own very personal ranking on the service and sermon overall: I am wavering between [I liked it a lot] and [It felt "Average" to Me]. The sermon was a bit too short (leaning it towards average) and the music seemed to be a little too much and too wide a variety. Against that was the youth report and pictures of the trip, and the "children's message". I think I'll just have to leave it stuck in the middle of those two choices, for now.

Religion: [Christian]
Denomination: Christian Reformed.
Size of Congregation: [Medium]
Primary demographic appearance: [Mix (above & below 40)]
Was greeted/welcomed, made to feel welcome: [About three to eight times]
Service Started: 10:29AM
Service Finished: 11:42AM

Contact this church:
Church Office: 762-3084, Home Office: 764-4643
email (non-clickable):
Web-links: Main church. (Note, they appear to be very nearly complete what appears to be a very content-rich web-site)

Faiths Faces Kelowna

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Garden Valley Community Church Kelowna

Address: 228 Valley Road, Kelowna
Date & Service Attended: August 13 2006, 10:30AM
Pastor/Priest/Leader: Lay Pastor, Eric Frans. (Regular Pastor is Terry Lamb)

Sermon:The sermon used Genesis 22:1-15 (the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac) as a launching point for having faith, and especially that God is asking us to give up what we want to hold onto the most (unless we are holding onto God the most).

Lay Paster Eric Frans did a nice job of relating a story in his own life about how difficult it can be to give things up - even including fear in this particular case - and lay it all into the lap of God. And that once that's done, things generally will start improving; positive things will start happening.

Lay Pastor Frans implored the congregation to think about what they're holding onto too tightly, and to let it go. To let God take it. And sometimes he won't (just as with Abraham's sacrifice) demand it; but he's a jealous God and wants him to be first in our hearts.

Other parts of the service: This is a modern contemporary service, with the hymns using multi-media so the congregation can follow the lyrics, and with the use of drums, electric and acoustic guitars. Corey Doak as the main singer, and also with a couple of his own songs, and an especially nice blue-grass country number called "The Builder".

Hymns/songs composed about 35 minutes of the service.

My feelings/thoughts: Two things:
  1. First, I agree that it can be very difficult to give up something that you've held onto, even when you know it's harming you, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I have had these issues in my own heart from time to time. I still have my issues in this regard too. But prayer also helps to release these things, I find.
  2. Nothing to do with this service particularly, but I am often reminded of how the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (the founder of TM) says that the mind is like a drunken monkey, lurching back and forth. Sometimes I'm in service, and find my mind wandering far, far away from what is being said. This is one challenge in life: the remain fully "in the moment". I hope I will become better at this so that I can enjoy the service in front of me more in the future.

Other things: (Occassional comments on church goings on, or musings about the service, situation, etc.). The church is lacking a Nursery at present, because the Grassmicks (who have done this for ten years), want a break. Lay Pastor Eric Frans would like to see some adults step up to the plate and help out here.

My own very personal ranking on the service and sermon overall: [It felt "Average" to Me]

Religion: [Christian]
Denomination: Mennonite
Size of Congregation: [Small]
Primary demographic appearance: [Younger (mostly under 40 years old, many children)]
Was greeted/welcomed, made to feel welcome: [About three to eight times]
Service Started: 10:34AM
Service Finished: 11:40AM

Contact this church:
Phone: 763-4822
Web-links: Main church, youth.

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Nature's Service on the Penticton Channel"

Hi there,

I didn't attend any service this week as we had plans with some friends and my kids to float down the Penticton river channel. The size of this "congregation" was large, the "service" was nice, and we had some nice "discussion sermons" amongst the friends and family.

It was fun, although quite windy at the end (where the current slows noticeably), which was blowing us the opposite way to the current. Hence, a lot of swimming was required to get to the Skaha Lake end of the channel.

It was fairly warm, but quite smoky, as some forest fires in Washington State were blowing smoke up here.

Will see you back here next week ...

Faiths Faces Kelowna